Pendle-based Liberal Democrat peer Tony Greaves – who is also Deputy
Leader of Pendle Council – will tomorrow call on the Government to provide
Councils in areas such as East Lancashire with help to make brownfield sites
financially viable for new housing schemes.
Lord Greaves said: “The Government has announced a number of brownfield
initiatives which appear add up to around £1.8billion – not a small sum. But
so far they seem to be of little use in this part of the world.
“My concern is that in areas like East Lancashire, new housing
developments are often not viable financially, and on brownfield sites they
are rarely so. This is due to the housing market being very sluggish – our
house prices are very low compared with the national picture.
“So the cost of land and development plus profit to developers cannot be
recouped from sales. In the case of housing for rent in either the private or
social housing sector the costs of development plus management and
maintenance over the years cannot be recouped by rents over that time.
Lord Greaves will tell the Government that what we need is gap funding to
fill the gap, and so far that is not on offer.
He added: “Pendle Council has set aside £1.5million for this purpose and we
are looking at using this at empty brownfield sites such as Oak Mill in Colne
and Brook Shed at Earby. But it will simply not be enough for all the sites in
Pendle. We need Government help and we need it now. With a new housing
Minister in the Lords I am hoping to get a new mind on the job!”